Originally, today’s article was to feature potential broadleaf crops for dryland crop rotations in the Barton County area. Before getting to that discussion, there are some opportunities coming up for area producers and interested individuals worth mentioning. These are tours providing an opportunity to view crops under field conditions and help provide information for producers and agribusiness on varieties, hybrids, and often the effects of cultural practices on crop production.
The first opportunity is close to home and sponsored by the Barton and Ellsworth Extension Councils. Wednesday, May 18, there is a wheat plot tour at Ernie Jezek’s plots starting at 6 p.m. The plots are located along 1st Road (Wilson black top) and Avenue P also known as Barton County NE 160 Avenue and 200 Road. The featured speaker is Dr. Jim Shroyer, State Extension Specialist from the main campus in Manhattan. For those who aren’t familiar with Jim, he is also the State Extension leader for agronomy whose expertise is in cereal grain and alfalfa production. He will review the wheat varieties in the plot, the overall condition of the state’s 2011 wheat crop, and even what may or may not be coming in the future regarding wheat variety releases. Jim was also part of the annual wheat tour that took place this last week across Kansas and can share his impressions of just how good and bad the crop is.
After the tour, a supper will be provided free of charge. To make sure that they have enough food, they ask that you RSVP by Friday, May 13, at 620-793-1910. You don’t have to RSVP to simply attend the tour portion. This and all K-State events of this type are open to anyone interested in the topic, not just producers or agribusiness.
The second opportunity isn’t quite as close to home. There is a winter canola performance test tour at the K-State South Central Experiment Field’s Redd Foundation site on Tuesday, May 24th, starting at 2:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to view the current state of canola variety and hybrid research, how newer and potential releases may fit into our part of the world, and pick the brains of canola experts from K-State and agribusiness. Of special interest is the development of public varieties by the K-State breeding program of Roundup Ready ™ cultivars. Featured speakers include Mike Stamm, winter canola breeder, and Bill Heer Field Agronomist-In-Charge who has worked with winter canola for over twenty-five years.
While no lunch is served, refreshments are normally provided. The site is located near Partridge in Reno County. The easiest way to get there is to take US 50 west to Highpoint Road, turn south, proceed one mile to the stop sign on Trails West and proceed approximately ½ mile south to the metal equipment shed.
For those of you who don’t know me very well I spent almost twenty years with K-State. My roles ranged from Agronomist-In-Charge of the Sandyland Experiment Field to State Extension Specialist for alternative crops and annual forages based in Hutchinson. One of the most enjoyable, worthwhile, and effective activities during my tenure involved planning and participating in field days. I strongly encouraged anyone at all interested to make the time to attend the events mentioned here and take advantage of the experts and the information they will share. With all the budgetary pressure to become meaner and leaner, these types of useful, free events will disappear if we all don’t take advantage of them. Next week, it’s back to crop rotations and no-till.